Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Emma Shortt.
Emma Shortt is the debut author of Waking Up Dead.
Click here to read more about the author.
Horror and romance, oh and why not throw in a phobia too? (by Emma Shortt)
Very few books are simply one genre, most mix in a whole bunch. In a thriller you can have a little mystery plus some suspense, in a sci-fi you might add a little fantasy, and in literary fiction you can splice in some historical. The genre boundaries blur and combine more often than not. As a reader I appreciate that fact. I love authors who throw me a curve ball, both in terms of the genre mix and the plot, but as a writer it can be tricky. Which genre is going to lead and which will play second fiddle? Or will you, in fact, try and give them both equal footing?
The two genres that have always intrigued me the most are two that you might think are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Horror and romance.
On one hand you have the difficulty of scaring your readers, but at the same time you want to make them sigh with pleasure. How to do both at the same time? This was the challenge I took on when I began to write my debut post-apocalyptic novel, Waking up Dead.
So, what could be super scary? For me it has always been zombies. I have a horrific phobia of them. Now, I know that sounds odd, a phobia of zombies? But it really, truly does exist. It has a name and everything. Zombies both intrigue and terrify me, so I was always going to put them in a horror/romance mash-up. This challenged me immensely when I was working on the book. I do my very best stuff in the early hours of the morning, and believe me, there is nothing worse than writing about a topic that scares you shitless in the wee hours of the morning, the stairs creaking...
The next question I had to ask myself was one that came to be the defining element of the entire book. Where there is horror can there be love? I wanted to explore whether love really could exist when people are placed in (to me at least) the most horrific or circumstances. How could you fall in love when you have to spend every moment of your life on guard for bands of the roving undead? Would you be able to let not just your physical, but your emotional defenses, down? I’m happy to say that many months later, and over a 100,000 words, I managed to answer this question.
Which genres would you find the most difficult to combine?
To celebrate the release of Waking Up Dead I am giving away signed copies, an Amazon gift card and a zombie survival kit. Simply enter below.
Emma Shortt wanted to be an astronaut, or maybe Captain Janeway. Because she didn't really think her career choices through very well she ended up in an everyday geek job, crunching numbers and sighing over syntax. It seemed a long way from the stars and in an effort to escape Emma decided to get serious about her other passion. Writing.
Several years later and Emma has yet to walk on the moon or sit in the Captain's chair, but she is still writing. She scribbles stories in all sorts of genres, contemporary, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, historical, sci-fi... if she hasn't tried it yet she will before long. The only common theme is the romance. A hopeless romantic everything Emma writes has a love story in there somewhere.
She lives on the west coast of England with her very Greek husband and teenage kiddos. Apart from all things geek reading is her main hobby and she likes nothing better than getting home from a hard day at work and curling up with a book, though sometimes she gets home and writes one instead.
Her zombie inspired novel, Waking Up Dead, releases on October 22nd. She’d be super pleased if you checked it out.